The "Safe Haven for Heroes Act" comes after the decision last week by the Supreme Court that says funeral protests, such as those by the Westboro Baptist Church, are permitted under The First Ammendment.
“We need to thank God for the service and sacrifice of our American military fighting for our freedom,” Ruppersberger said in a statement. “The right to free speech is a valuable liberty that we all cherish as Americans. While I respect the recent Supreme Court decision, I wanted to find a way to stop groups like Westboro from using military funerals as occasions to promote their own political agenda and inflict incalculable harm on the grieving families of our troops.”
Ruppersberger stated that the bill would enable groups such Westboro to exercise their right to free speech without disrupting the funerals themselves or forcing funeral participants to encounter the protesters.
According to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center the Westboro Baptist Church protestors has been identified as a hate group. Westboro Baptist Church has protested nearly 600 military funeral in over 20 years.
Who: Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
What: Ruppersberger to Announce Legislation to Prevent Protests at Military Funerals
When: Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Where: Linthicum Veterans Memorial
Camp Meade & Maple Road